New hires busy at work at Niles Lowes

Published 4:49 am Thursday, October 14, 2004

By By JOHN EBY / Niles Daily Star
DOWAGIAC - Room 1611, the colorful "Creative Classroom" of Southwestern Michigan College's new $100,000 School of Nursing and Human Services Center of Excellence, needs no number.
SMC art instructor David Baker of Dowagiac designed it especially for John Hartman, who teaches in the Social Science Department, and Corinne Overmyer, a nursing program faculty member.
Their goal was to create an artistic environment that could foster a desired psychological and spiritual tone. Stimulating intellectual performance was an additional objective.
Hartman and Overmyer wanted a classroom that is fun while promoting harmony and openness.
They wanted a design that encouraged trust and student interaction. They also wanted the space to increase intellectual stimulation and critical thinking.
Baker got what proved to be the most challenging assignment of his career.
SMC, besides music and lighting that can shift the room's mood and one calming wall students instinctively turn toward to take tests, received a hint of mystery, as well.
Baker signed his artwork, but won't reveal where.
Baker said she paid him the nicest compliment when he overheard her telling someone, "David Baker knew more about what I wanted than I did."
Baker said the Creative Classroom is a nice fit with SMC's "long tradition of commitment to anything we think we can do that might enhance" student learning.
Baker achieved the yin and yang dualism of calming stimulation with "tertiary triads" of red-violet, yellow-orange and blue-green.